After a distinguished 29-year British Council career which took him to Baghdad, Rome, Brussels, Ottawa and Rabat, Martin is an experienced cultural relations professional and theorist. Now retained by the Council as a senior adviser, he is also a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Centre for Islamic Studies. He writes widely (he has just published There and Back by Candle-Light, an account of his experiences in Baghdad before and during the Gulf War of 1990); and he consults and writes on issues in education in the Middle East, cultural relations, cultural preservation, radicalisation and other related subjects. With an academic background in the Middle East (M Phil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies at St Antony’s College, Oxford), Martin is a seasoned thinker and contributor across a wide spectrum of activity. He blogs as Mercurius Maghrebensis.
In the late 1970s, when I first lived in Cairo, I had lunch most Fridays at the Turf Club. Not of course the original Turf Club, burnt down in the riots of 1952 (a club which “would not have looked out of place in St James’s”), but its nominal successor, which was in a … More ‘A lecherous old Wog on the outside’